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Off-West End Announcements - 13 Mar 2009

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Here’s a round-up of announcements at Off-West End Theatres this week:

King’s Head
Joe Di Pietro’s critically acclaimed Fucking Men returns from 19 March – 6 June following its recent sold-out extended run. The comedy about sexual manners is directed by Phil Wilmott and features a cast including Morgan James, Nicholas Keith, James Kristian, Timothy Lone, Chris Polick, Patrick Poletti and Adam Unze.

Warehouse Theatre Croydon
Unexpected Opera presents its premiere production, The Barber of Savile Row (1 – 15 April). Adapted by Tim Riley and John Lovat from Rossini’s classic opera, the play jumps from the 17th century to 1950s London and includes a bit of Elvis. Director Lynn Binstock and Unexpected Opera aim to make the show accessible to everyone, not just those already familiar with opera.

Young Vic
The Maria Studio will feature Matthew Dunster’s You Can See the Hills (23 April – 9 May) in its Spring 2009 Season. This one-man show features a performance by Doctor Who’s William Ash as protagonist Adam. Following a sell-out run in the Clare last autumn, Dunster’s play returns to the stage shedding light on the life of a young man as he comes of age in the ‘80s.

Finborough Theatre
Michael Craig stars in Trying (17 March – 11 April), a play written by Joanna McClelland Glass about Judge Francis Biddle, the US Attorney General under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Chief American Judge at the Nuremberg Trials. Based on Glass’s own experience as personal secretary to Judge Biddle, Trying follows protagonist Sarah as she attempts to reorder her new boss’s hectic life while simultaneously dealing with her own personal woes.

Sadler’s Wells
The Lilian Baylis Theatre presents two productions written by Jimmy Durante as part of Ian Marshall Fisher’s Lost Musicals performances. Both shows have not been onstage since their Broadway runs in 1930. The first, The New Yorkers (Sundays 29 March and 5, 12, 19 April), follows the romance between an heiress and a gangster in 1920s New York. Following The New Yorkers is the satire Johnny Johnson (Sundays 14, 21, 28 June and 5, 12 July), which is an anti-war comedy bringing together cowboy ballads, French music-hall and American vaudeville.

The Troy Bar
The Hoxton Street venue, the Troy Bar, will host the four-month mini festival, Missfit Mondays (Mondays 16 February – 25 May). Arranged as a festival fundraiser for DYS(THE)LEXI 2009, which features works by dyslexic writers, Missfit Mondays combines innovative theatre with inventive new writing to produce their unique blend of “innoventive” shows. Co-produced by missfit productions and Touchwaves, the festival will show works by Nicholas McInerny, Gerard Logan and Rachel Rose Reid.

The travelling Welsh circus troupe, NoFit State, will grace the London stage with their production of Tabu (28 March – 19 April), following a sell-out European tour. Directed by Firenza Giudi, Tabu incorporates a mixture of live music and video to accompany the 12-person ensemble during the performance.

Lyric Hammersmith
Director Matthew Lenton joins forces with Scotland touring company, Vanishing Point, to bring their newest production, Interiors (21 April – 9 May), to London. Adapted from Belgian playwright Maurice Maeterlinck’s 1891 play Interior , this brand new show focuses on the idea of isolation by contrasting the inside and outside worlds. Interiors commences as a stranger peers through a window upon a group of friends as they talk around the dinner table.

Hackney Empire
Mike Batistick’s play BOdEGA lung fat (11 – 28 March) is currently receiving its world premiere. Starring Mitzi Thaddeus, George Georgiou, Pierre Mascolo, Daniel Frost and Stephen Hoo, the show focuses on a diverse group of Brooklyn-ites as they discuss everything from drugs to racism to poverty. BOdEGA lung fat is directed by Sam Neophytou and presented by Inner City Productions.

The Vagina Monologues (2 – 4 April) will make a return to the Empire starring Sharon D. Clarke, Jessie Wallace and Jocelyn Jee. The show has drawn audiences from London to L.A., and everywhere in between, and included performances by Kate Winslet, Whoopi Goldberg, Sophie Dahl and Jerry Hall.

Meanwhile, the Studio will host the world premiere of Alex Martinez’s Private Thoughts (6 – 25 April). Directed by Kevin Hely, the play features performances by Kevin McGowan and Clara Onyemere as Eric and Dr. Chase, respectively. Worried by an increasing fear that he may be a potential child abuser, Private Thoughts follows Eric into his therapy sessions as he discusses these concerns with his therapist.

Soho Theatre & Southbank Centre
The world premiere of Forced Entertainment’s Void Story (21- 25 April) will take place next month as part of SPILL Festival at the Soho Theatre. The play is set in an urban wasteland and follows a couple as they are undergo a mugging, insect bites, haunted hotels and more.

The six-member theatre company, who this year celebrate their 25th anniversary, will also showcase a second play for SPILL Festival. Branching away from the rest of Forced Entertainment’s creative team, artistic director Tim Etchells presents his solo project That Night Follows Day (7 – 8 April) for a two-day run at London’s Southbank Centre. The production features a cast of 17 children between the ages of 8 and 14 in a play “with children, but for adults.”

New End Theatre
Anita Harris stars in Anton Burge’s musical comedy G&I: Going Into Battle with Gertrude Lawrence (8 April – 3 May). Based on the life of actress and singer Gertrude Lawrence, the production is set in spring of 1944 and focuses on her experience as she gears up for a performance for British and American troops during World War II. G&I is directed by Ninon Jerome and co-stars Brenda Longman and Ben Stock.

Orlando Wells’s new dark comedy The Tin Horizon (15 April – 9 May) sheds light on protagonist Vladimir as his personal problems become overwhelming—he is plagued by uncooperative servants, a visit from his ex, unwanted Police attention on his taxidermy shop and a potential visit from the Messiah during breakfast. The Tin Horizon is directed by Phoebe Barran and presented by Theatre503 and Bird & Be Productions.

- by Katie Blemler


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